Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education

supporting inclusion, challenging exclusion

news from 1996


The mother of four-year-old Kirstie Elliott is due to appear before the Special Educational Needs Tribunal to argue why her daughter, who has a chromosome disorder, should attend her local mainstream school. Hampshire County Council say that Kirstie's needs will be best be met in in a special school for children with severe learning difficulties.
The News, Portsmouth, January 4, 1996.

Two friends of one of the deaf pupils attending Marden High School, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, could soon become the youngest students in Britain to get a sign language qualification. Hayley Lafferty and Kate Bucas, both 13, are taking an evening class with the Council for Advancement of Communication with Deaf People.
Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Evening Chronicle, January 19, 1996.

Zelda McCollum refutes claims that she is engaging in a game of 'political football' over the education of her daughter Chloe, who has Down's Syndrome. Mrs. McCollum wants her daughter to attend a mainstream school rather than the special school named by Lewisham Council. She says Lewisham is resisting change and failing to offer choice to parents of disabled children. 'We don't want to play political football, but instead put forward arguments which will hopefully lead to greater understanding about disability rights, more parental choice, a more inclusive education system and a school for Chloe.'
The Big Issue, January 22, 1996.

Organisations of disabled people back Newcastle's plans to include more disabled children in mainstream schools but warn that it must be full integration. Mary Kelly, senior advice and information officer for Disability North, says: 'It's no good putting children into mainstream schools if they end up in units which are just as segregated as if they were in another school.'
Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Evening Chronicle, January 22, 1996.

Mainstream schools in Newcastle are to get 1 million pounds extra to spend on children with special educational needs including cash for 19 special units. The special schools to close under the plan for re-organising special education in the city are Brunswick Beech, Westlands, Walkerdene or Parkway, and Jesmond Dean House. Job losses are certain.
Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Evening Chronicle, January 23, 1996.

The deputy head of All Saints School in Appley Bridge, Val Millers, says six-year-old twins, David and Gillian Prescott are doing well at the mainstream primary and 'take part in all aspects of school life'. Mrs. Miller and her husband Brian are due to run in the Boston Marathon in America to raise funds for the twins' trust fund.
Wigan Evening Post, January 26, 1996.

Charitable trusts and companies have stepped into save a school integration project which was running into financial difficulties. Fiveways School at Yeovil offers specialist education to children with severe learning difficulties, aged between 2 and 16 plus. A spokesman for one of the trusts supporting the project said that trustees had personal experience of the problems encountered by disabled children being isolated from the educational mainstream.
Western Gazette (Yeovil and District) January 25, 1996.

The chair of Newcastle City Council's Education Committee, Darren Murphy, confirms that the council's plans for re-organising special education means that six, rather than ten, special schools will operate in future. He says there will still be a 'significant number of special school places for children with more severe difficulties who need this setting'.
Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Evening Chronicle, January 29, 1996.

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Peter Howlett, of Portsmouth Cerebral Palsy Association, an ex-teacher, says that integration invariably works well if schools are enthusiastic about it and are given adequate resources. He was responding to comments from Hampshire Council that it's a 'fine judgment' as to whether individual children could benefit from mainstream. According to Mr. Howlett, successful lobbying has meant it is now rare for children with Down's Syndrome to go to a special school. But parents of children with other learning difficulties face a tougher struggle.
The Portsmouth News, February 1, 1996.

A report from Havering Council's Education Committee which has been asked to make L20,000 savings in its special educational needs support service, says that children who have hearing impairments receive a higher level of support than those who are physically or visually impaired. According to the report it is proposed to seek a job-sharing or similar arrangement to reduce staff hours.
Romford Recorder, February 2, 1996.

Assertion training for disabled boys has gone down so well in Camden, London, that there are now proposals to extend the scheme and suggestions that it should also include pupils with learning difficulties. Participants who took part in sessions to build up confidence and self esteem said they wanted more time to explore issues such as health and sexuality and develop social skills for independent living. Topics already covered by the boys include attitudes to disability and bullying. The sessions which are run by a trained counsellor include group discussions, drama, and role-play.
Hampstead and Highgate Express, February 2, 1996.

The Special Educational Needs Tribunal has ruled in favour of 4-year-old Kirstie Elliott being educated at her local school, Morelands Primary. The tribunal found that Kirstie could greatly benefit from the role models around her, particularly in the area of language and speech.
The Portsmouth News, February 1, 1996.

A mother has won an injunction to prevent the closure of Enborne Lodge School for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties in Newbury, Berkshire. The closure plan is part of Lambeth Council's integration scheme for special needs children but Beverley Nicholson, whose 17-year-old son Aaron is taking a GCSE course at Enborne Lodge says he cannot be educated in mainstream schools. Ms. Nicholson is now seeking a judicial review at the High Court.
South London Press, February 6, 1996.

Pauline and Stephen Robertson say that their daughter, Katy, who has severe learning difficulties, is happy at mainstream school, her sister is proud to have her there and their family life is as near normal as it can be with a child with special needs. According to the couple who live in Heatherside, Surrey: 'Katy is in a reception class of 31, with a full-time non-teaching assistant, as well as her teacher. It's very early days yet but there haven't been any major problems so far. We don't know what the future will bring but that could be said for our other two children too'.
Daily Mail, February 7,1996.

Education authorities are having to spend thousands of pounds sending autistic children to America because there are so few suitable places in Britain. It is estimated that in London there are three autistic children in need of provision for every one place. A dozen British children are now being sent to school in Boston where the Higashi Institute provides successful therapy.
The Standard, London, February 8, 1996.

Garfield School, New Southgate, London, complains that although it wants to accept youngsters with special needs, it does not have enough resources for them and it is worried that other children will suffer. An Enfield Council spokesman said it was trying to help Garfield but faced a problem filling vacancies for educational psychologists.
Enfield, Palmers Green, Southgate and Edmonton Gazette, February 9, 1996.

Work is underway to make Lancastrian Junior School in Haringey, London, suitable for children with severe disabilities. Education chair Cllr Philip Jones said: 'I feel sure all the children will be enriched by the experience'.
Hornsey and Muswell Hill Journal, February 15, 1996.

Claire Udale, 10, and her mother Carol, present a petition to Gateshead Council calling for wheelchair access to Whickham Comprehensive School. Clare has been in mainstream education since she was 3 years old but now faces the prospect of going to a special school because there is no suitable secondary school for her. Claire says: 'I feel a bit let down because they are taking away my independence'. Gateshead Council had hoped to improve access at Whickham Comprehensive with a GBP1 million plus plan including new lifts, fire escape routes, and toilets, but claims government underfunding has left it short of money. A Council deputation is due to meet with officials at the Department of Education in London to explain the situation.
Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Evening Chronicle, February 21, 1996.

The public services union, Unison, fears that cuts in the pay of non-teaching staff caring for special needs children could lead to a poorer service. Bromley Council plans to introduce new rates of pay which replace a flat rate of GBP9.50 with rates according to a child's needs. Under the plan the rate for supporting a child with minimal needs will be GBP5.40 an hour and the rate for supporting a child with moderate needs will be GBP6.83. The Council says it faces a substantial rise in the budget for non-teaching staff because of the increase in children needing support.
Beckenham and Penge News Shopper, February 26, 1996.

Special support assistant, Lynne Charlton, is at the centre of a team of health and education professionals who are helping 8-year-old Patricia Purvis learn alongside her mainstream peers. Various aids and equipments have been designed to help Patricia, who is severely physically disabled. Lynne Charlton says she expects to stay with Patricia throughout her school career. 'I am being re-educated and I have told Patricia I may be taking GCSEs alongside her before I retire.'
Therapy Weekly, February 29, 1996.

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Six-year-old Scott Powling, who has Downs Syndrome, is said to be facing a 'Catch 22 situation' which could see him forced out of the primary school where his education has flourished into a special needs school. His parents say his troubles started when the support he receives from a welfare assistant was cut to two hours day. From getting results which placed him halfway up his class at Norbury Primary School, Harrow Weald, Scott is said to have regressed further than where he was before he joined the school. Scott's father says he is furious at the way his son's case has been handled.
London Evening Standard, March 4, 1996.

Suffolk Education Authority says it is considering setting up units for children with specific learning difficulties, including dyslexia, in mainstream schools. The move follows a decision by the Special Educational Needs Tribunal that Ben Murphy, 13, should attend Cawston College, near Aylsham, at Suffolk's expense because the education authority could not meet his needs.
Lowestoft Journal, March 1, 1996.

Cheshire County Council is reported as saying that all special needs places in primary schools across the region are full. It is hoping to find extra funding to enable the head of a local primary school with special needs facilities to increase the number of places. The council's statement follows concern over the case of Brian Seal, 8, who has Aspergers' Syndrome - a type of autism - and has been out of school for many months. His mother says being at home is making him frustrated and unhappy and she wants him integrated into mainstream school. 'Brian is a very clever little boy. His problem is with communication - he does not know how to communicate. For this reason it is very important that he is with other children and mixes with children'.
Liverpool Daily Post, March 8, 1996.

Fifteen-year-old Dawn Rogers, whose parents have been involved in a battle with Nottingham Education Authority over funding for a place at the world famous Peto Institute in Hungary, is believed to be the youngest person to pass 'A' level Hungarian at the local university. Dawn's parents say it costs them GBP13,000 a year to pay for Dawn's schooling. Nottingham Council have paid nothing for Dawn's education although other families are receiving GBP22,000 to send their children to Peto. Nottingham Council says it has consistently felt that Dawn's needs can be met in her local community at a special needs centre in mainstream education. It was important for her to receive her education among st her peers rather than in a foreign country.
Nottingham Evening Post, March 9, 1996.

A Clacton boy is attending a special school after a long delay in finding him a school place because of what is described as a 'Catch 22' situation. Essex County Council would not consider special educational needs education for Steven Rudelhoff, 14, until he was taken into a mainstream school for assessment. But no mainstream school would take him because they said he required special needs education.
Clacton Gazette, March 8, 1996.

Primary schools in Lincolnshire are to receive information about disabled people and the problems they encounter. County Education Chief Norman Riches explained: 'Many pupils with special needs are best educated in mainstream schools. For this to be successful, the children's peers need to accept them on equal level as they would any other pupil. Ignorance is the main barrier here. If these materials can be used in the delivery of everyday lessons and remove some of the barriers that may exist, everyone will benefit'.
Lincolnshire Echo, March 11, 1996.

More than 700 schools are to benefit from GBP8.8 million government funding to up-grade facilities for disabled pupils. The education and employment minister, Lord Henley, told the House of Commons: 'I am delighted that this will enable many more schools to admit pupils with disabilities'.
Darlington Northern Echo, March 21, 1996.

In a Common's written reply, education minister Eric Forth, says that almost half of England's schools provide wheelchair access to more than half of their classrooms.
East Anglian Daily Times, March 22, 1996.

West Sussex Council is considering ways of developing more provision for disabled children in Sussex, after hearing that out-of-county placements are increasing. Assistant director Tony Atkins said steps had to be considered now, otherwise the county would be faced with more and more money being 'sucked out'. Councillors were told that the typical fees for a boarding place ranged from GBP20,000 to GBP30,000.
Midhurst and Petworth Observer, March 28, 1996.

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Speaking at the annual conference of the NASUWT in Glasgow, union leader Nigel de Gruchy blames the closure of special schools for the spread of bad behaviour in classrooms. He says that mainstream schools have not got enough resources to cope with 'these young tearaways'.
Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Journal, April 10, 1996.

Northwich mother Denise Walker criticises Cheshire County Council for refusing to provide funds for an assistant to support her five-year-old son Sam at St Wilfrid's School, Hartford. She says that changes in the Council's policy on special needs mean that they will only fund part-time assistance for Sam, leaving her and his friends to raise the money elsewhere.
Northwich Guardian, April 10,1996.

Moving a motion condemning inclusive education, Christyne Keates, of the NASUWT's executive committee, told the union's annual conference in Glasgow that cash starved local authorities were closing special schools for financial reasons and teachers were being left to cope. There was intense pressure from parents to keep a child in mainstream schooling, but this might not be in the best interests of the child. 'The answer should lie not in the promotion of inclusive education at all costs, but in a changed perception of special schools as part of the education system and not as a means of sentencing pupils'.
The Guardian, April 10, 1996.

Lynne and Danny Morrow fear they have finally been defeated in the battle to keep their son, Luke, seven, in mainstream education. They say Luke, who has Down's Syndrome, was happy for more than three years at St John Vianney Primary School in Hartlepool but things changed in September last year after the teacher and special needs helper he had worked with both left. Now they feel they have no option but to send him to Springwell Special School where education officers say his needs will be better met. 'We feel we have failed him but really it is the system that has failed him', said Mr. Morrow. 'All we are asking for is what any good parent would ask for, that they get the best for their kids'.
Hartlepool Mail, April 11, 1996.

The National Union of Teachers at its conference voted to adopt inclusive education as a long-term goal and to campaign to end compulsory segregation of disabled children in special schools against their or their parents' wishes. Richard Rieser, a disabled teacher and chair of the Alliance for Inclusive Education, said that the evidence was clear from schools with an inclusive ethos: behaviour improved, results improved for the disabled and non-disabled majority and young people learned to respect each other. He said the NASUWT had wrongly equated the widespread increase in difficult behaviour arising from poverty, unemployment and family problems with the closure of special schools.
The Guardian, April 16, 1996.

A disruptive schoolboy will be taught by outside staff in his present school at a cost of GBP100 a day in a compromise to try to avert a strike by teachers. Twenty teachers at Glaisdale School in Bilborough, Nottinghamshire, are threatening to strike unless a decision to expel Richard Wilding is re-imposed. Fred Riddell, chair of Nottinghamshire Education Committee said the measures meant that the school was meeting its legal responsibility to support the 13-year-old. Teachers have been refusing to teach the teenager because of his long record of causing trouble and violence. His parents have resisted pressure to transfer Richard to a special school.
The Times, April 23 and 24, 1996 .

The number of children expelled in England has risen from 11,000 in 1993/94 to an estimated 15,000 in 1996. Pressures to achieve good exam results and rising class sizes have been blamed.
The Guardian, April 23, 1996.

Special needs pupils are to get top priority when places are allocated at popular Sheffield schools. The shake-up in admission policies reflects the trend in which more special needs children are being taught in mainstream schools instead of special schools. In future, a disabled child will be guaranteed a place at a school which has specially-adapted buildings and classrooms. Alternatively, a child with special needs may have a particularly suitable school named in his or her statement.
Doncaster Star, April 29, 1996.

Rawthorpe High School is leading the way in integrating special needs pupils in mainstream classes. Thirteen children with autism and learning difficulties are being taught in ordinary classes. The project - a joint initiative between Barnardos and Kirklees education authority - is the first of its kind in the country. Project leader, Jane Bienias, said: 'We are hoping to stage a conference later this year and want to encourage more schools to get involved'. Special needs pupils are taught at their own level in mainstream classes, with extra support where needed from project workers.
Huddersfield Daily Examiner, April 30, 1996.

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Special needs teachers working with children in mainstream schools in Liverpool have threatened to strike over plans to cut jobs. They fear mainstream schools will be unable to meet their statutory obligations if the already stretched service is reduced further. 'The only way some of these children can stay in mainstream education is with this sort of help', said NUT spokeswoman Ruth Knox. 'Removing that assistance could force them back into special schools and undo all the progressive moves that have been made to integrate them'.
Liverpool Daily Post, May 1, 1996.

Fourteen-year-old Holly Williams is the author of 'Animal High', a story about a school for disabled and non disabled animals. Holly, who writes from personal experience, hopes the book will educated able-bodied children about disability. Holly, a firm believer in integration, says: 'If you are going to change attitudes, you should start with children'.
Disability Now, May 1, 1996.

Bexley Council says that nine-year-old Katie Wilkinson, who has dyslexia, can be taught adequately by her own school without additional help. However, her mother says the family have had to bring in a private teacher to help Katie, who cannot read and write, but feel the service should be provided by the education authority. 'Bexley keeps saying her overall attainments are within the average bands for her age. They just refused to recognise she needs more expert help even though she is bright'.
New Shopper Bexleyheath and Welling, May 1, 1996.

A father whose protest over his son's education was halted by police has taken to the streets again. Robert Waine wants his son Nathan, who has learning difficulties, to mix with youngsters without disabilities. Six months ago he was ordered by police from the top of a 12 feet high poster stand in Deansgate Manchester and brought down by the fire brigade. Now he is back in Deansgate with placards - but this time at ground level. Mr. Waine says his son has made no progress at special schools and needs to continue his education at a mainstream school or college. 'I have gone along with the education authority's advice for over five years and I know to our cost that it has had a detrimental effect on Nathan - seeing all his friends disappear and his self esteem ebb away and his communications skills undeveloped'.
Manchester Evening News, May 7, 1996.

The mother of nine-year-old Shane Powell who has been expelled for kicking his headteacher said the trouble started when classmates bullied him because of his disabilities. The headmaster said he regretted having to expel Shane but had no alternative. It was the first time he had been hit in 23 years at school. Wiltshire County Council is trying to find another school for Shane and meanwhile has offered home tuition.
Western Daily Press, Bristol, May 13, 1996.

Disabled toddlers in parts of North Yorkshire face a better chance of getting into mainstream education thanks to a revolutionary new scheme. Education chiefs have announced that nearly GBP200,000 has been found to recruit and train an army of volunteer teachers to be part of a home visiting service for pre-school children with learning difficulties. Toddlers as young as two will be taught basic skills in their homes through a series of specialised 'games'.The scheme is called Portage after the town in the United States where it was developed.
Yorkshire Evening Press, York, May 17, 1996.

Parents are being attracted to Cornwall because of its policy of including disabled children in mainstream schools, according to the Liberal Democrat Chairman of the County Council's Education Committee, Val Cox. 'We are doing it not just because parents like it, but because it is good for all children. A youngster who has got some sort of handicap, whether it is physical or mental, has actually got to live in the real world so to be able to educate them alongside their peers for most parts of the curriculum gets them used to living in society. It is also beneficial for more able children to be aware of disability'.
Western Morning News, May 18, 1996.

Jersey Education Committee is to re-examine its special needs policy following a seminar organised by the Jersey Group of the Down's Syndrome Association. The two-day seminar was told about the successful integration work taking place in Portsmouth with the help of research by the Sarah Duffen Centre.
Jersey Evening Post, May 18, 1996.

Judith Carr becomes the first nursery nurse in the country to be awarded the Royal National Institute for the Blind's certificate in Braille. Judith, who works with youngsters with visual impairments in Belmont Infant School, near Durham, decided to upgrade her skills by taking a two-year correspondence course. Judith said: 'It has been very difficult and has really taken a lot of doing. But it's worth it to help support the children in the classroom - that is where you feel you have really got something out of it'.
Darlington Northern Echo May 22, 1996.

Headteachers leaders yesterday urged their members to make an example of violent parents by expelling their children. The call came despite evidence of already record numbers of expulsions from primary schools - up four-fold since the beginning of the decade.Violent attacks by parent had also rocketed, to the point where figures showed they were now twice as likely as an attack by a pupil. Leader David Hart urged members confronted by violent parents to test the limits of the the law - and the decisions of independent appeal panels, - by expelling their children.
Yorkshire Post, Leeds, May 29, 1996.

A poor report from inspectors looks set to seal the fate of the only school in Waltham Forest that takes the children other schools cannot handle. Councillors will be asked to agree the closure of Lea Green School, by September next year. They are being advised to replace it with other types of units for the children, all of whom have severe social and emotional or behavioural problems. A team from the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) visited Lea Green in February and concluded that it was 'failing'. They found that two in five pupils were underachieving, levels of attendance and punctuality were poor, overall management unsatisfactory and the school was not giving value for money.
Walthamstow Guardian, May 30, 1996.

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Hereford and Worcester Education Service is considering plans to extend links between special and mainstream schools in the county. Margaret Davis, assistant educational officer (special services) said the council had received positive reactions about its 'outreach' scheme, which had been running for ten years.
Worcester and Hereford Evening News, June 8, 1996.

A new nursery school costing GBP200,000 is in the pipeline for up to 100 children with severe special needs and disabilities in the Westminster area. The planned conversion of an empty building in Paddington was announced at a meeting of Westminster Council's education and leisure committee. The nursery project manager, Graham Ellis said: 'Most children with medium difficulties are integrated into mainstream schools and we fully support that and parents' choice but there is a small group of children who can't be integrated'.
Westminster and Pimlico News, June 13, 1996.

Twenty families are chasing only three places at at a special unit for youngsters with language problems at Carden Infant School, Brighton. East Sussex special needs office, Peter Weston, said the council was setting up more units attached to schools for autistic youngsters. He said there had been a massive increase in special needs spending in the last five years, especially with more youngsters being diagnosed as having problems.
Brighton Evening Argus, June 24, 1996.

June Mitchell, of Parents in Partnership, says more people are choosing mainstream education for their disabled children. She said she felt PIP had contributed to the climate which gives people the confidence to opt for mainstream placements.
Barking and Dagenham Recorder, June 27, 1996.

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Jane Brierley, of Liverpool, explains how her four-year-old son, Sean, who has Down's Syndrome, will be affected by cuts in the Special Educational Needs Integrated Support Service (SENIS). She says that Sean has fortnightly sessions with a member of the SENIS team who assesses his needs, provides special equipment and devises programmes for him. In addition he has a care assistant who sits with him in class to keep him on the right track. His mother says that without this support Sean might be able to cope but he would not advance. She is worried that his school will not be able to keep him if the special needs teacher is withdrawn and says she will teach him at home rather than have him go to a special school.
Liverpool Daily Post, July 3, 1996

Education leaders on Merseyside are on the verge of a U-turn over controversial plans to make special needs teachers redundant. In a surprise move the city's chair of education revealed that redundancy notices to 11 teachers from SENIS would be withdrawn but campaigners dismissed the move as a face-saving exercise to detract attention from the scaling down of the vital service. Union leaders claimed that SENIS teachers would have to re-apply for a limited number of jobs under the new proposal and that those who were unsuccessful in securing a position would be re-deployed. 'The teachers may not be made redundant but the effect on the youngsters would be exactly the same', said Julie Lyon-Taylor from the NUT. Teachers, parents and children heckled delegates arriving for a council meeting and there were bitter exchanges as 17 petitions were presented covering a range of issues including special needs provision, class sizes and primary school closures.
Liverpool Daily Post, July 4, 1996.

The parents of Niki Crane may consider appealing to the High Court after losing their appeal to the Special Educational Needs Tribunal. Wendy and Peter Crane of Cherry Vale, Hesketh Bank, have spent two years trying to prove a place at Tarleton High School was offered to Niki but then snatched away at the last minute. 'We have lost in a big way, not just a little way. They took none of our evidence on board', says Wendy. 'The tribunal was a test case for the whole country and has endorsed discrimination against disabled children and set a precedent for LEAs to ask schools if they want these children'. The outcome of the appeal means that 13-year-old Niki must go to a special school in Fulwood, 17 miles away from his home. Wendy and Pete are convinced that the special school placement is not suitable for him but if they refuse to send him the LEA may take out an attendance order.
The Advertiser July 18, 1996.

Barnardos Princess Margaret Special School in Taunton, Somerset, closes after 30 years. The pupils are moving to six primary and two secondary schools in the county with Barnardos offering special support. Each pupil will have a designated classroom assistant and Barnardos will provide physiotherapy and speech and language therapy on the school sites. A teacher co-ordinator will ensure tailoring of the curriculum to each child's needs. Toby Mildon, aged 15, who has already moved to mainstream, said his advice to other young people would be: 'Just get out there and do it. They may think it's going to be really hard, that they are going to be separate, that they are going to stick out. But I don't think it's like that at all. Society has got a lot better at dealing with disability'.
Western Daily Press, July 24, 1996.

The mother of a classmate of a five-year-old boy who wants to stay in mainstream school has organised a fund-raising bungee jump to help pay for a classroom assistant to support him. The bungee jump, which raised GBP200, is the latest event to help keep five-year Sam Walker at St. Wilfrid's School in Hartford, Cheshire. So far a total GBP7,000 has been raised to pay for an educational assistant. Sam's mother Denise say she is determined not to give up despite losing an appeal to keep Sam at the school.
Northwich Guardian, July 24, 1996.

Brookside School in Stockport has become one of the few primary schools in the country with a sensory centre. The centre - a small room which provides visual, tactile, auditory and aromatic stimulation - has been funded by local businesses in association with Stockport Council. Headteacher Anne Francis stressed that the sensory centre will be used by all pupils, not just pupils with learning difficulties.
Stockport Times East, July 25, 1996.

A nine-year-old girl with Down's Syndrome has been told by her school that she may have to face half-time education because there is not enough money to fund her full-time helper. Isobel Drinkall of Collingham has been a pupil at John Blow Primary School, Collingham, Notts since she was five. Her mother said the school had not yet decided how to manage Isobel. One option was to put her in classes where she would cause the least disruption, and there was also the possibility of her going home when her helper was not there. Mrs. Drinkall said: 'The teacher has to cope with 30 other children so there is no way that she can deal on her own with Isobel as well'. John Blow school governors said they were shocked and concerned about the drastic effect education cuts would have on Isobel's education. A spokesman for Nottinghamshire County Council said funding for the Newark area remained the same as last year.
Newark Advertiser, July 26, 1996.

The Stockport Portage Association has published a book by 11-year-old Alexandra Metcalfe about her baby brother Jamie, who has Down's Syndrome. Alexandra describes how Jamie changed her life and helped her understand about disabled people 'I didn't know what Down's Syndrome meant - I was afraid. I wanted to write down how important Jamie was to us. It made me feel happier'. The Stockport Portage Association feel the book might help ease the fears of other children who had a brother or sister with Down's Syndrome.
Liverpool Daily Post, July 27, 1996.

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At a Commons Health Select Committee meeting, Tory MP David Congdon said there was a risk that some disabled children might not be able to be taught in mainstream schools because teachers would not administer medication. He said teachers were expected to administer health care to children but the National Association of Head Teachers was now advising members to show reluctance to do this. Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health, John Bowis, said a children's service plan was being drawn up which was intended to be helpful and build on the law by encouraging teachers to do more. He said most teachers were willing to play their part as long as they had proper back-up from school nurses. It was also helpful if parents gave their written consent.
Disability Now, August 1, 1996.

Feversham School, Newcastle, an independent school for children with severe emotional and behavioural difficulties has decided to close in the face of falling support from cash-strapped councils in the region. Northern councils, who between them send 44 pupils aged six to 13 to the school, now have until the closure date in the New Year to find an alternative. The chair of the school governors, Prof. John Walker, said that local education authorities had changed their policies . 'More councils who are suffering budget cuts are trying to deal with their children within their own areas, so the number of youngsters being referred to us has gone down.' The school, which is backed by the mental health charity Young Minds, depends entirely on income from councils sending pupils to the school. A teachers' spokesman said: 'Unfortunately it is a sign of the times that there are kids who need this kind of attention but councils are unable to pay for it.'
Newcastle Upon Tyne Journal, August 9, 1996.

Hundreds of special needs pupils in mainstream schools are losing out on education because they need speech therapy, according to watchdog Southwark Community Health Council. Now 40 parents at Cherry Gardens School, Bermondsey, are considering legal moves to force Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham Health Authority to improve the service.
South London Press, August 16, 1996.

Paralympic champion Tanni Grey says it took two years of fighting for her parents to get her into mainstream school. 'It was unusual at the time but I wanted to go to a mainstream school. The way I saw it I didn't need special education, I was just in a wheelchair'.
The Daily Telegraph, August 21, 1996.

Layna Gilbert's string of nine B and C passes were cause for celebration among her teachers and school friends. While other students may have gained better grades, Layna's impressive tally of GCSEs was achieved in the face of overwhelming odds. Layna suffers from sight, hearing and speech problems but was determined to stay in mainstream education. She completed her studies at Greencroft Comprehensive School in Stanley with the help of support staff member Alex Ellwood. Mrs. Ellwood said: 'Layna has overcome a lot of difficulties. She has had a lot of encouragement from the whole school and I was confident she would do well. I'm delighted for her.' Layna now plans to go to New College, Durham, to study for A levels in business studies, English language and media studies.
Darlington Northern Echo, August 23, 1966.

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A Tyneside family fighting for their disabled daughter to be allowed go to a mainstream school say they will not give up. Today Joanne Spendiff, 12, will have to stand by and watch her friends start the new term at St Thomas More RC High School in North Shields without her. Education chiefs have ruled that the confident little girl, who has Down's Syndrome, must now go to a special school - even though she has already spent the past nine years at a mainstream primary school with no problems. Her parents Trish and Gordon, of Murray Road, Wallsend, are determined to fight the decision and to plan to take the case to the High Court.
Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Journal, September 3, 1996.

Sue Donald, 38, met school chiefs this week in an attempt to find a way forward for seven-year-old David at Crompton View Primary School, Bilsthorpe. His one to one teaching in the mainstream school has been slashed from 27 hours to 17 hours. David, who has cystic fibrosis, could attend for the other ten hours but would not be closely supervised. An education department spokesman said: 'Detailed consideration of David's needs has shown that he is making good progress and that reducing the support he received will encourage greater independence. The decision was not based on financial considerations but reflected David's specific educational needs'.
Nottingham Evening Post, September 5, 1996.

The Romanian youngster brought to Worcester for treatment for his disabilities believed to have been caused by radiation following the Chernobyl accident has started mainstream school this term. Five-year-old Cornel Hrisca was brought to England by Whittington couple Ken and Doreen Munn. Mrs Munn said he looked very smart in his new uniform but was slightly worried when she left him at the gates of St Clement's Primary School. 'He was fine after I had gone' she said. 'And he came home with a gold star he had for drawing a picture of the park'.
Worcester and Hereford Evening News September 6, 1996.

An Appeal Court judge yesterday ruled that Haringey Council in North London was wrong to force Kate Caryer to go to a special needs school. Her mother Midge, 44, wanted Kate to go Fortismere School near their home in Muswell Hill, so she could be with her friends, but when Haringey Council discovered that the school needed GBP122,000 of improvements they said she should go to a special needs school as it would be cheaper. Giving his decision, Mr Justice Collins said : 'Kate is a highly intellectual girl who best responds in circumstances that motivate her and stretch her. It was decided that to continue her development socially she needed to be near her friends and also be in a mainstream school that would treat her intellectually as a mainstream pupil. Although Fortismere School was not suitable, it was the right school in the circumstances for Kate. Although it is better to find the cheaper solution, it is not always the case'.
Daily Express, September 11, 1996.

Parents at Sandringham Primary School, Doncaster, have raised a 125-signature petition saying they want their children to be taught alongside Jamie Brown. Six year-old Jamie, who has Down's Syndrome, was turned away on the first day of term, even though an agreement had been reached for him to attend the school part-time. According to his mother: 'When we arrived the teachers knew nothing about it and we were told there was no special needs assistant available and no place for him. James was totally confused and we both went home in tears'. A spokesman for Doncaster Council said a meeting had been arranged in the hope of reaching a satisfactory solution.
Doncaster Star, September 17, 1996.

The Court of Appeal judgement that Katie Caryer can attend the mainstream school near her home could mean that Haringey Council may face appeals from other parents. The Council has spent GBP3.8 million on improvements at Northumberland Park School with a view to transferring children from the Vale Special School. But after the Caryer judgement some parents may now be unwilling to send their children there because of the journey time from their homes.
Wood Green and Tottenham Weekly Herald, September 24, 1996.

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Pete and Wendy Crane with their son Niki and educational psychologist John Kenworthy staged a 'teach-in' outside the gates of the mainstream school which has refused to give a place to Niki. The family now need to find GBP20,000 to take their case to the High Court. Until recently disabled children were entitled to legal aid to help them meet court fees, but now parents must find the cash themselves.
Disability Now, October 1, 1996.

Bradford Education Authority is spending hundreds of pounds in preparing access to the National Curriculum for thirteen-year-old Laura Maloney who will be transferring from Temple Bank School for visually impaired pupils to Rhodesway Upper School. Textbooks and and material will need to be translated into Braille and textbooks explained as words, if Laura is to learn alongside non-Braille-users. A spokesman for Bradford Council said: 'The investment in staff time and money for equipment for Laura will provide facilities which could be available to other youngsters with similar needs in future'.
Bradford Telegraph and Argus, October 9, 1996.

Blind schoolboy Chris Malone today offered hope to families worried about plans to put more disabled youngsters in Newcastle into ordinary classes. Chris, 16, said he loves being a pupil at Gosforth High School. 'It is much better in the outside world than being locked up in a special school where your disability is really all you are. I was a bit nervous about going into a big school with lots of other students, but I settled down pretty easily. Everyone gets a bit of bullying but I've had nothing major. Your learn to brush it off. Most people accept you for who you are'.
Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Evening Chronicle. October 10, 1996.

Our Lady of Lourdes RC School in Fixby has refused admission to three-year-old Paul Proctor because they are concerned where they would stand legally if anything went wrong with his tracheotomy, the artificial opening to his windpipe which helps him breath. Paul's parents say they want him to lead as normal a life as possible and hope that if he starts school with other youngsters his age they will become accustomed to his disability. According to his father: 'We have had incidents where children have swung his tube round and prodded and knocked him but if he started school at the same time as other children his age hopefully all that would end'. Mr. Proctor has consulted a so licitor and is considering suing the school for discrimination.
Huddersfield Daily Examiner, October 18, 1996.

Teachers at the Ridings School, Ovenden, Halifax, have threatened to strike unless action is taken against 60 pupils. The teachers have identified the pupils as trouble makers and want to see them disciplined or expelled. Staff morale at the school is so low that the headteacher and her deputy have resigned, exhausted by their battle to keep order.
Hull Daily Mail, October 22, 1996.

A new specialist teaching unit to help children with learning difficulties was officially opened at Morriston Primary, Swansea, today. It will provide teaching support and facilities for youngsters with a range of disabilities, including Down's Syndrome and autistic problems. The facility is being paid for by Swansea Council which has one of the best records in the UK for integrating special needs pupils into mainstream schools.
Swansea South Wales Evening Post, October 31, 1996.

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The Yarmouth Branch of the Norfolk Autistic Society is calling for action to provide specialist care for young people with autism. Co-organiser, Helen Wolfinden wants units attached to mainstream schools where children can receive support while mixing with other youngsters to learn behaviour patterns. 'Our children have an invisible disability. Their bad behaviour is put down to to being naughty or to bad parenting'.
Eastern Daily Press, November 1996.

Emma Langdon, who is blind, took part in her first cross country event and came ninth. The 12-year-old has recently become a pupil at the special education department at Monmouth Comprehensive School and all the pupils in that unit took part in the event. Emma said: 'I really enjoyed it. I will be back next year and hope to take part in the swimming as well'. Head of special needs at Monmouth, Jim Edwards, helped Emma complete the two-mile course by running with her and constantly explaining to her what he could see.
South Wales Argus, November 9, 1996.

Many middle class parents are using dyslexia as an excuse for their children's low intelligence and unruliness at school, according to a survey of teachers. However a spokesperson for the British Dyslexia Association said the survey showed that teachers need better training 'to identify children who really have dyslexia and help them through their problems'. A seven-year-old London boy explained how dyslexia affects him: 'Dyslexia gives me four problems and they are spelling, reading, writing and seeing things back to front'.
Evening Standard, London, November 5, 1996.

An Evesham girl with Down's Syndrome has renewed an appeal for activity groups to open their doors to people with special needs and give them a chance. Eleven-year-old Samantha Nutting attends mainstream school but is having difficulty finding suitable activities outside school.
Worcester and Hereford News, November 16, 1996.

Parents of youngsters at a Newcastle special school have defied education chiefs and staff by overwhelmingly voting to take it out of council control. Pendower Hall Special School is set to go grant-maintained after parents backed the move by more than four to one in a final ballot. Pendower governors said the opt-out decision had been taken 'with regret' but they believed that the council's re-organisation to bring more disabled children into mainstream schools would not improve the special school's provision.
Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Journal, November 26, 1996.

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Parents in Lambeth say autistic children are being hawked around the borough's schools because of lack of adequate resources. They told Lambeth Education Committee that only half of the borough's 50 autistic children were getting specialist help. The rest were in ordinary schools or special schools without specialist staff, or being taught in other Boroughs. The Larkhall Unit at Larkhall School in Clapham took 12 primary age children, but parents had no idea where they would send their children once they reached secondary school age.
The Mercury, December 5, 1996.

Parents, teachers and governors say they are angry at plans to close Welburn Hall, near Kirkbymoorside, North Yorkshire, a residential special school for youngsters aged eight to 18. According to the vice chairman of the governors, Leslie Matthews, there is no justification on educational or financial grounds to close the school. But Alan Milburn, the County Council's head of pupil and parents' services said: 'There has been a steady decline in the number of pupils at Welburn Hall and we don't feel it is viable any more in its present form. There will be public meetings and parents will be given their say.'
Darlington Northern Echo, December 9, 1996.

Norfolk County Council has defended its decision to spend GBP90,000 a year supporting a 'problem' child. The 15-year-old boy, who can not be named for legal reasons, is looked after by a team of residential care workers in a rented cottage in a Norfolk village. He has been taken out of mainstream school and the council is making a last-ditch effort to rehabilitate him before he reaches adulthood. A Social Services Department spokeswoman said: 'This is an extreme case and a very difficult problem but it is a problem we have to deal with. The only other alternative is secure accommodation. We have no suitable secure accommo-dation in Norfolk so he would have to be sent out of the county. That would cost about GBP150,000 and we don't think it would do him as much good. The care he is receiving is working. He is improving and we are hopeful of getting him ready to go back to mainstream school'.
Eastern Daily Press, December 9, 1996.

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